WASHINGTON (Talon News) — Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) may have forfeited his South Dakota residency last year when he and his wife purchased a $2 million home in an exclusive Washington, DC neighborhood. The Senate minority leader declared the mansion to be his “principal place of residence” when he applied for a property tax credit intended to help DC homeowners cope with sky-rocketing property values in the city.
The District of Columbia allows a $30,000 deduction against a property’s tax assessment for the calculation of taxes. The senator’s tax savings is less than $1,000 a year.
Talon News first raised questions about the credit in August 2003 following a search of property tax records. At the time, Tony Bullock, a spokesman for DC Mayor Anthony Williams told Talon News that the property qualified for the homestead exemption because the senator’s wife, Linda Daschle, a powerful Washington lobbyist and a co-owner of the property, was a city resident and taxpayer. But a document recently obtained by Talon News tells a different story.
Responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Talon News, the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue provided a copy of the April 28, 2003 application for the tax break. The affidavit section of the application bears only the signature of “Thomas A. Daschle.” Additionally, by checking a box marked “Yes,” the senator agreed that he would be subject to DC income tax. Linda Daschle’s signature does not appear on the document.
In signing the affidavit, Daschle declared under penalty of either a $1,000 fine or imprisonment of up to 180 days or both, that the property is eligible for the deductions. The qualification for the tax credit is specifically for a property to be an “owner-occupied principal place of residence.”